Mookie Betts continues to do big things with the Boston Red Sox as the All-Star outfielder avoided arbitration with the club Friday by agreeing to a record $27 million deal for 2020, according to multiple reports.
The previous record to avoid arbitration was the $26 million than Nolan Arenado agreed to with the Colorado Rockies last year before he was locked up to an eight-year, $260 million extension during spring training.
Betts, 27, will move into his free-agency years following the 2020 season. The 2018 MVP batted .295 with 29 home runs and 80 RBIs over 150 games in 2019, while leading the American League with 135 runs scored. That came one season after he led the Red Sox to a World Series title by batting .346 with 32 home runs and 80 RBIs.
Betts is a career .301 hitter over six seasons, all with the Red Sox. He has 139 home runs and 470 RBIs and his play in right field has earned him four consecutive Gold Glove Awards 2016-19). He also has been named to the AL All-Star team in each of the past four seasons.
—The Chicago Cubs avoided arbitration with Kris Bryant and agreed to a $18.6 million deal for the 2020 season with the All-Star third baseman, according to multiple reports.
Bryant still has another year in arbitration remaining for 2021, although that situation is pending a service-time grievance filed by the 28-year-old over the team’s decision to delay his arrival to the major leagues in 2015. That numbers game effectively delayed his first free-agent year by one season.
Bryant batted .282 with 31 home runs and 77 RBIs in 147 games in 2019. He is a career .284 hitter with 138 home runs and 403 RBIs, making the National League All-Star team three times while winning the MVP in 2016 and the rookie of the year in 2015.
—Reigning National League MVP Cody Bellinger and the Los Angeles Dodgers avoided arbitration Friday by agreeing to a record-setting $11.5 million deal, multiple news outlets reported.
The figure would break the record for highest salary for a player in his first year of arbitration eligibility, set last year by the Chicago Cubs’ Kris Bryant at $10.85 million.
Bellinger, 24, hit .305 with 47 home runs, 115 RBIs and 121 runs scored, posting a 1.035 OPS. He beat out 2018 NL MVP Christian Yelich of the Milwaukee Brewers and Washington Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon for the MVP award.
—The Minnesota Twins agreed to a three-year, $30 million extension with slugger Miguel Sano, according to a report from ESPN’s Jeff Passan.
The deal includes a club option for the 2023 season for $14 million, with a $3 million buyout, according to reports. The Twins potentially can buy out two years of free agency through the contract extension.
Sano, 26, hit .247 with 34 homers and 79 RBIs in 105 games last season. He has 118 career homers in parts of five big-league seasons.
—The New York Yankees reached deals with all of their players eligible for arbitration, including prized outfielder Aaron Judge, who signed for $8.5 million.
Left-hander James Paxton signed for $12.5 million, catcher Gary Sanchez signed for $5 million and right-hander Tommy Kahnle signed for $2.65 million, according to reports. Right-hander Luis Cessa reportedly also agreed to a deal for $895,000.
Judge, 27, blasted a league-high 52 home runs in his first full season 2017. Last season, he hit .272 with 27 homers and 55 RBIs in 102 games.
—The Oakland Athletics avoided arbitration with Marcus Semien and will pay $13 million in 2020 to the shortstop that finished third in American League MVP voting when he batted .285 with 33 home runs and 92 RBIs. The 29-year-old’s 747 plate appearances led the American League.
The club also avoided arbitration with right-hander Liam Hendriks ($5.3 million), outfielder Mark Canha ($4.8 million), left-hander Sean Manaea ($3.75 million), outfielder Robbie Grossman ($3.7 million) and right-hander Chris Bassitt ($2.25 million).
—The Cleveland Indians avoided arbitration with Francisco Lindor and agreed to a $17.5 million deal with the shortstop, according to MLB Network. Lindor, 26, who has been mentioned in trade rumors with the Los Angeles Dodgers, batted .284 in 2019 with 32 home runs and 74 RBIs.
—The Arizona Diamondbacks agreed to a three-year, $22 million extension with outfielder David Peralta, taking the Gold Glove winner’s contract through the 2022 season, according to multiple reports.
Peralta was arbitration eligible for the final time this winter, with the new extension now taking his deal through his first two free-agent years. The 32-year-old batted .275 with 12 home runs and 57 RBIs during a season that was limited to 99 games because of right shoulder issues.
Over six career seasons, all with the Diamondbacks, Peralta is a .290 career hitter with 85 home runs and 330 RBIs.
—The Cincinnati Reds avoided arbitration with right-hander Trevor Bauer and agreed to a $17.5 million after the deadline-deal acquisition went a combined 11-13 with a 4.48 ERA in 34 starts with the Cleveland Indians and Reds lasts season. Bauer, 28, was 2-5 with a 6.39 ERA in 10 starts with the Reds alone.
—The Chicago White Sox avoided arbitration with five players, including closer Alex Colome, who will earn $10.5 million in 2020 after he recorded 30 saves in 33 chances. Also agreeing to a deal at $5.6 million was outfielder Nomar Mazara, who was acquired in a trade with the Texas Rangers.
Other players to agree were utility man Leury Garcia ($3.25 million), left-hander Carlos Rodon ($4.45 million) and right-hander Evan Marshall ($1.1 million).
—The Milwaukee Brewers agreed to a deal with infielder Jedd Gyorko, who batted just .174 with two home runs and nine RBIs in just 62 games with the St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Dodgers last season, The Athletic reported. Terms of the deal were not announced.
Gyorko, 31, is a career .245 hitter with 112 home runs and 353 RBIs for the San Diego Padres, Cardinals and Dodgers in a seven-year major league career.
—The Seattle Mariners claimed infielder Sam Haggerty off waivers from the New York Mets. Haggerty, 25, was designated for assignment in December. He made his major league debut in 2019 for the Mets, seeing action in 11 games.
The Mariners also avoided arbitration with three players: outfielders Mitch Haniger and Mallex Smith, and right-hander Sam Tuivailala.
—Field Level Media